The Ultimate Sophistication
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Leonardo da Vinci
How do you define simplicity in your life?
Is it a lack of material possessions?
Is it a well-ordered daily routine without the trappings of variability or surprise?
Is it a clear head after a hard day’s work?
What I’m referring to is that magical feeling you get when you tidy up a room.
You know the feeling. You sit down, look around, and realize the clutter around you was the same clutter in your brain.
It’s better when it’s gone.
When the physical space is clean, your spirit also feels a bit more free to move around.
A recent conversation with a friend helped me get to a state of clearer thinking.
I decided to ditch a few projects I have been working on. I was wearing them like a badge of honor.
“I’m doing this, this and that.” I exclaimed proudly…
Well, none of them have been that great. I reached a point where these projects were fundamentally blocking me from getting honest work done. Even worse, they began to cloud my vision of the future.
Stripping away the dead wood has been helpful. I’m still a bit cluttered upstairs, but I’m better than I was a month or two ago.
True wisdom says hello when ideas and actions are simplified.
Ideas are bullshit. Talk is cheap. Execution is what matters.
It’s very easy to become over encumbered, confused or weighed down by complexity.
I’ve spent the last several months working on ideas and projects that I know now are not the things I want to do. But I only know because I put in a meaningful amount of time towards pursuing these ideas or projects.
Steve Jobs said:
Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.
The lesson here is - keep working hard. You might not know the things you can cast aside vs the things to keep in this very moment.
It’s easier to live in a state of complexity than simplicity.
Hard work will help you reach a point of clarity. So keep doing things. Even if you are confused by them.
Rejoice when you have stripped away some of that deadwood.
Most of life’s problems in our modern age are of abundance, not scarcity.
I hope you are able to subtract some things this week.
I subtracted many words from the original draft of this post.
I feel better for it.
Have an amazing week, my friends.
Timely advice! I’ve been trying new things and learning what doesn’t work and what I’m not passionate about. I don’t regret having tried them (and the stress that ensued!)--they helped me fine tune my mission.
It is indeed visible that you have subtracted words from this article.
It is lean. Easy to read. And direct to the point.
I can really relate with this: "I’ve spent the last several months working on ideas and projects that I know now are not the things I want to do. But I only know because I put in a meaningful amount of time towards pursuing these ideas or projects.".
Like you, in the past months, I have experimented with many things, including coaching, business mentoring, sketching and writing. And figured out that the latter is the activity I enjoy the most. While I am still looking for the right combination between coaching and mentoring, as I use Claire Pedrick's book "Simplifying coaching" to support me in the process.
As she puts it, "[Coaching] mastery is about doing less".
Hence, it is about simplicity!
I have written about the 6 principles that are helping me to keep things simple.
Hopefully will be of service to you and your readers, as they look for simplicity.